Sunday 23 November 2014

The Procrastinator (Some) Times Sunday 23rd November Edition


Morning fellows! Hope your Sunday is going great.

In our News section we have three articles about the Ayotzinapa tragedy in México via Vice, AlJazeera America and Fusion. Oh Mexico, I really feel you, and I'm not the only one as this past week there were protest in several cities across the globe organized mainly via social media by people that want to express their solidarity with the Mexican people and their outrage and disgust to the Mexican government. On the contrary, in Venezuela -and I can't not mention this, I'm sorry- our students were brutally murdered, also by thugs and the police, and jailed in the worst prisons and without due process and nobody but us seemed to care. I guess that human rights violations powered by drug money look a bit worse than the ones powered by oil-money. But believe me, they both hurt the same.

Anyway. We are sharing an AlJazeera America article that summarizes the Ayotzinapa situation in around 3 min, for those of you who have not heard much; the trailer of a Vice soon-to-come documentary, you know these guys are good at their immersive journalism stuff; and a nice op-ed article in English written by Enrique Acevedo titled: What the Ayotzinapa tragedy says about Mexico. If any of my friends that live in México want to share more (I don't necessarily know the best sources), please do.

In our Science & Technology section: Americans seems to be super concerned about privacy, but they act as they don't, and the reason is that often they don’t have real choice, all that and your brain in  magic mushrooms. Are you waiting for a stroke of genius that change your life forever? Good, me too. Just keep calm and get older, read about it in our Design, Business & Innovation section.  In Culture & Entertainment, the relationship between art & anthropology, 10 things we can learn about Bill Murray and the most widely used adjective derived from the name of a modern writer... can you guess which one it is? Finally in Our Weekly Procrastination, some photos from Inside, the wonderful exhibition currently at the Palais de Tokyo.


Protesters at a government building in Chilpancingo, Guerrero. (Photo by Hans-Maximo Musielik) via VICE.

"On September 26, teaching students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in Mexico were intercepted by police forces en route to a protest in Iguala. In the ensuing clash, six people were killed, and 43 Ayotzinapa students were taken away by the police. Investigations over the following weeks led to the startling allegations that the police had acted at the behest of the local mayor, and had turned over the abducted students to members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. All 43 students are now feared dead." Check out the trailer, related links and the rest of the article in Vice. E.T.P. 3'

Photo via Huffington Post.

"The Mexican Revolution, which launched on Nov. 20, 1910, was the first major political and social revolution of the 20th century. It brought an end to Porfirio Díaz’s 34-year dictatorship and transformed Mexico through land reform, the implementation of presidential term limits and the nationalization of natural resources. Today, on the 104th anniversary of the revolution, Mexico faces another defining moment. . .Though drug-war-related violence has not let up during the first two years of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term, he has largely ignored it. What’s more, his administration has changed the narrative to focus on Mexico as an economic success story . . . But now Peña Nieto, as well as the foreign investors he has worked so hard to court, can no longer avoid acknowledging the pervasive violence, corruption and impunity that continue to plague Mexico. The Sept. 26 abduction of 43 students in the southwestern state of Guerrero has eliminated whatever credibility his pivoting to economic issues might have had." Read full article in AlJazeera America. E.T.P. 4'

Photo via Noticieros Televisa.

"Mexico is a nation of stark contrasts. A country where obesity and acute malnutrition coexist;  the home of the world’s richest man and 53 million people living under the poverty line, almost half of the population. Nonetheless, there is a historic gap that explains Mexico better than any other disparity. This is the fracture created by the absence of the rule of law, one that divides those who infringe norms with ease and the victims that suffer from rampant impunity.
In some countries, justice in the court system can be bought, in Mexico it has become a luxury that only a few can afford. Those that don’t have the money or the influence are left defenseless, at the mercy of savage criminals and corrupt government officials, who occasionally act like one and the same, as we’ve seen in Iguala where six students were killed and 43 others went missing.
Our worst nightmares materialized last Friday when Mexico’s Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam, detailed the gruesome acts behind the kidnapping and murder of the Ayotzinapa students. We all knew the chances of finding them alive after more than 40 days were slim at best. But no one imagined the brutal way in which their lives allegedly ended – asphyxiation, their bodies burned in a pile, their bones crushed.
The remains have been tampered with to the point where they had to be sent to the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria for DNA identification." Read full article in Fusion. E.T.P. 4'


This section's Estimated Time of Procrastination is: 7'

Image via Wired.

To investigate the aspects of conciousness that can arise from neurological meta-networks (how cells and regions interact, with consciousness shaped not by any given set of brain regions, but by their interplay), researchers analyzed fMRI scans of 15 people after being injected with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, a sure-fire way of altering consciousness, and compared them to scans of their brain activity after receiving a placebo.

A representation of that is seen in the image above, and as the title of this Wired article clearly indicate: this is how magic mushrooms rearrange your brain. Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 3'

Illustration: Ellen Porteus via The New York Times.

I don't know exactly where to fit this article in the Procrastinator structure. We should have a Social Anthropology section for sure (someone interested in that?), but as we don't, I'll just share it here because, technology.
"Americans say they are deeply concerned about privacy on the web and their cellphones. They say they do not trust Internet companies or the government to protect it. Yet they keep using the services and handing over their personal information. That paradox is captured in a new survey by Pew Research Center . . . Distrust of digital communication has only increased, Pew found, with the young expressing the most concern by some measures, in the wake of the revelations by Edward Snowden about online surveillance by the government. Yet Americans for now seem to grudgingly accept that these are the trade-offs of living in the digital age — or else they fear that it is too late to do anything about it." Read full article in The New York Times. E.T.P. 4'


This section's Estimated Time of Procrastination is: 3' 

Illustration via Quartz.

According to a new paper from NBER, the high points of the careers of both great inventors and Nobel-Prize winning scientists, and they found that the late 30s were the sweet spot for strokes of genius; while innovators have been peaking slightly later in life as the 20th century has progressed, in part because today’s scientists have more to learn than their predecessors. Read full article in Quartz. E.T.P. 3'


This section's Estimated Time of Procrastination is: 22'

            Cyprien Gaillard, Artefacts, 2011, film still. Courtesy: the artist and Sprüth Magers, Berlin, Bugada & Cargnel, Paris, and Laura Bartlett Gallery, London. Via Frieze Magazine.

Taking as starting point Euphoria (2014) a fiction story book based on the amorous entanglements of Margaret Mead, while "stumbling through the swamps of the Sepik River, in New Guinea, in the lull between the 20th-century’s two devastating world wars;" Kaelen Wilson-Goldie explores the relationship between art and anthropology; how the so-called "soft science" started to separate from colonialism to get closer to cultural relativism; how anthropology is considered by some as a failed discourse within a politically correct framework that contemporary art in the look for new frontiers is now somehow looking to disrupt and make radical again, and, of course, the role of the anthropologist as an artist and storyteller... and the other way around.

"What drives the plot and undoes everyone in the book is not the trauma of first contact but the desire for good art. All of the main characters are searching, whether respectfully or rapaciously, for the work of potters, painters and mask-makers; for the rituals and ceremonies that smuggle the stories of a people’s origins into live performance; for the code-like evidence of tribal artisans; and for the objects of study that support the creation of language or the transmission of knowledge." Interesting long read. Read full article in Frieze Magazine. E.T.P. 13'

Photo via The Guardian.

"From a few minutes’ five minutes’ research, I can tell you that we live in Orwellian times, America is waging Orwellian wars, that TV is Orwellian, that the police are Orwellian, that Amazon is Orwellian, that publishers are Orwellian too, that Amazon withdrew copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was Orwellian (although Orwell wouldn’t like it), that Vladimir Putin, George W Bush, David Cameron, Ed Milliband, Kim Jong-un and all his relatives are Orwellian, that the TV programme Big Brother is both Orwellian and not as Orwellian as it claims to be, that Obama engages in Obamathink, that climate-change deniers and climate change scientists are Orwellian, that neoclassical economics employs Orwellian language. That, in fact, everything is Orwellian." But do we really know what Orwellian means? Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 4'

Photo via Rolling Stone

Gavin Edwards while reporting his recent Rolling Stone feature on Bill Murray, spent a weekend in Toronto, attending the world premiere of St. Vincent, going to a screening of Ghostbusters at the official "Bill Murray Day," talking to his friends and collaborators, partying with the star at a Toronto nightclub, and conducting an interview with him the next morning. In this article he share with us 10 things he learned about Bill Murray. The one I like best was said by Melissa McCarthy: "Thank you, Bill Murray, for making me choose randomly and not practically." Read full article in Rolling Stone. E.T.P. 5'


This section's Estimated Time of Procrastination is: 5' 

If you're visiting on the week-end, be prepared to queue for around 15min.

Above: tape installation by Numen/For Use, made up only of transparent Scotch tape.

Mark Manden. Room with Unfired Clay Figure, 2014.

Dran, the French illustrator has taken over the big staircase connecting the two floors of the exhibition.

Andro Wekua. Untitled.

                                    Berdaguer & Péjus, C.28, 2014.This space must be amazing if you get to visit it with                         just few other people at the same time.

John Giorno's Poem Paintings.

Outside the Palais is also lovely.

Curated by Jean de Loisy, Daria de Beauvais, Katell Jaffrès, the new exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris is a great opportunity to immerse in several different "insides" created by more than 20 artists using all sorts of techniques. From quiet and calming, to darker, disgusting, sticky, disturbing, alarming, claustrophobic, naughty, surprising, if something characterizes Inside is its capacity of being very moving and emotional. It is definitely a "risky voyage" as described by its curators.

In the Palais the Tokyo website we can read: "Inside offers visitors a passage to the interior of the self, for which the exhibition space serves as a metaphor. This immense odyssey, both physical and psychological, invites us to walk through two floors of the Palais de Tokyo that have been transformed by artists in such a way that, from one installation to the next, we remain constantly immersed in the works, which lead us within ourselves – from our skin to our most intimate thoughts."

The participan artists are: Jean-Michel ALBEROLA, Dove ALLOUCHE, Yuri ANCARANI, Sookoon ANG, Christophe BERDAGUER & Marie PEJUS, Christian BOLTANSKI, Peter BUGGENHOUT, Marc COUTURIER, Nathalie DJURBERG & Hans BERG, dran, Marcius GALAN, Ryan GANDER, Ion GRIGORESCU, HU Xiaoyuan, Eva JOSPIN, Jesper JUST, Mikhail KARIKIS & Uriel ORLOW, Mark MANDERS, Bruce NAUMAN, Mike NELSON, NUMEN/FOR USE, Abraham POINCHEVAL Araya RASDJARMREARNSOOK, Reynold REYNOLDS & Patrick JOLLEY, Ataru SATO, Stéphane THIDET (we loved this little cabin!), TUNGA, Andra URSUTA, Andro WEKUA, Valia FETISOV, Artur ZMIJEWSKI

The exhibition will remain inside the Palais of Tokyo (excellent view of the Tour Eiffel, btw) until the 11th of January. It will probably hold a little longer in your mind though! If your planning a Christmas trip to Paris you should definitely check it out!  

Address: Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du President Wilson, 75116 Paris 
Website: Palais de Tokyo Opening hour: 12 noon - 12 midnight. Closed on Tuesdays.
Admission: Regular 10 €; Reduced 8 €

Sunday 9 November 2014

The Procrastinator (Some) Times Sunday 9th of November Edition


Morning procrastinators! Hope you're having a nice Sunday.

In our News section we have a couple of articles on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. If you want more have a look at the news today because the city will be commemorating with a lot of activities.

Our Design, Business & Innovation section feature two sides of the same challenge: technology disrupting our lives. One article via The Economist shows how is profoundly changing the advertising business, and the other one via Wired, how Facebook can ended up controlling all we see in the Internet. And because you can't have enough articles about the Internet in Culture & Entertainment, we share with you Kenneth Goldsmith's new 'Wasting Time on the Internet' university course; The Imitation Game, a story worth telling; and what happened the night Proust met Joyce.

This week's In Dog We Trust introduce us to Champ an adorable Golden Retreiver, and #30DaysOfDogs, a lovely drawing project of one of our fellow procrastinators: Victoria. In Our Weekly Procrastination we watched the first season of the web series "High Maintenance" in Vimeo. The sweet and weird stories of a weed dealer in New York City. Go ahead and have a look is absolutely meaningful procrastination. Finally, Marie's Unstructured Procrastination this week consisted on researching leaves in Clapton Square. Unstructured Procrastination is a new section, that it'll appear here (some times) in the hope that randomness inspire you. Go on, have a look!

Happy November, happy Sunday and happy reading!


"The city of Berlin will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. The wall split the city from 1961 to 1989 and became the iconic symbol of the cold war. Sean Gallup has photographed locations around Berlin today to match with archive images of when the city was divided." Have a look at all the photographs in The Guardian. E.T.P. 5'

Photo via

To commemorate 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall this 9th of November, Lichtgrenze, a symbolic frontier of lights will illuminate the city. "The LICHTGRENZE consisting of thousands illuminated balloons to be lit throughout the weekend of November 9th, will be the festive highlight of the numerous events that are scheduled in Berlin throughout this year. Situated right in the heart of the city this unique and arresting light installation will trace a circa 15 km long segment of the former course of the wall that once separated Berlin in two. The light installation is based on an idea by Christopher Bauder and Marc Bauder." Read more about it, discover the events' program and watch Lichtgrenze, The Splitscreen Movie in E.T.P. 6'

Photo via The New York Times.

Berlin After the Wall: A Microcosm of the World’s Chaotic Change. Michael Kimmelman via The New York Times. "Not far from the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz was a no man’s land during the Cold War. Then the Berlin Wall fell, and the German authorities made it a petting zoo for celebrity architecture. The corporate headquarters of Germany’s new global swagger.
But the ambitions for Potsdamer Platz, like the hopes and fears about a united Germany, turned out differently. The architecture was not so great. Many companies fled. Berliners and newcomers alike preferred the dingy, more atmospheric quarters of the old former East. “Poor but sexy” became the city slogan." Read full article in The New York Times. E.T.P. 6'


Image via Wired.

Marcus Wohlsen's Wired article explicitly called "How Facebook Could End Up Controlling Everything You Watch and Read Online" would have been quoted so many times in a second part of my dissertation about information on the move... but since that imaginary second part is not happening (anytime soon, at least), at least I get to share it here. Anyone interested in the future of news, journalism, publishing, content creation and marketing, and well, the Internet in general, should have a look. Here's a fragment of the article: "Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook’s News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook’s algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online. Instead of going to all this trouble to get people to click a link on Facebook that takes them somewhere else, the future of Internet content may be a world in which no video, article, or cat GIF gallery lives outside of Facebook at all." Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 5'

Image via The Economist.

And obviously related to the previous article, Alexandra Suich writes for The Economist print edition a nice piece about how technology is profoundly changing the advertising business. This is fragment of Little Brother: "In 1963 David Ogilvy . . . wrote: 'An advertisement is like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar, and keep it sweeping.' Half a century later advertisers are at last taking him at his word. Behavioural profiling has gone viral across the internet, enabling firms to reach users with specific messages based on their location, interests, browsing history and demographic group. Ads can now follow users from site to site: a customer who looks online for flights to Frankfurt will be inundated with German holiday offers. Conversant, a digital-marketing firm, uses an algorithm to deliver around 800,000 variations of an ad to its big clients’ prospective customers to make it as irresistible as possible. . . Extreme personalisation in advertising has been slow to come, except in search advertising, where Google, Yahoo and other engines have been serving up ads tailored to users’ interests for years. But now it has arrived in earnest. According to one poll by Adobe, a software company, most marketers say they have seen more change in the past two years than in the previous 50." Read full article in The Economist. E.T.P. 6'


Kenneth Goldsmith stands in front of 10 tons of printed paper from his exhibition “Printing Out the Internet” at a Mexico City art space in 2013. (Janet Jarman/For The Washington Post) Via The Washington Post.

So, Kenneth Goldsmith, author of one of Uncreative Writing, one the books that basically made my MA dissertation, is now offering a course in the University of Pennsylvania called Wasting time on the Internet, a course where "distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory."

I honestly think this is a long-overdue experiment, but of course, I am an active advocate of wasting time on the Internet, of procrastinating and making it meaningfully, and that is what this space is all about. Of course, opinions vary and I've read all sorts of articles of lovers and haters, this is logical because Kenny G is very well known for being a professional radio provocateur, for his controversial point of view on writing, creativity, appropriation and plagiarism in the digital era, and of course, for trying to print out the Internet. Also when it comes to wasting time on the Internet, everyone has an expert opinion, right? But, are we?

Emma Brockes points out in The Guardian (E.T.P. 3') that "the question of whether the huge, distracting influence of online time-wasting has a good, bad or irrelevant impact on our creative output is so new that there aren’t any definitive answers, yet. But it is starting to be studied."

The purpose of the course, Goldsmith said to The Washington Post (E.T.P. 5'), "is to have the students write something good at the end of the course, as a result of all that forced distraction. Goldsmith says he hopes the distraction will place his students “into a digital or electronic twilight,” similar to the state of consciousness between dreaming and waking that was so prized by the Surrealists."

"Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs. To bolster our practice, we’ll explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts about affect theory, ASMR, situationism and everyday life by thinkers such as Guy Debord, Mary Kelly Erving Goffman, Betty Friedan, Raymond Williams, John Cage, Georges Perec, Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefevbre, Trin Minh-ha, Stuart Hall, Sianne Ngai, Siegfried Kracauer and others." Reads the description of the course in UPenn website.

You can read more about it in Motherboard (E.T.P. 4') and Dazed Digital (E.T.P. 3') and/or read more about Goldsmith's work in Monoskop.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. Credit Jack English/Weinstein Company. Via The New York Times.

The Riddle Who Unlocked the Enigma. Charles McGrath on "The Imitation Game", the new movie inspired on Alan Turing's life that will open Nov. 28. "Turing, a British mathematician, is now widely credited with helping to develop the theoretical underpinnings for  modern computing. He was also a war hero of sorts,  largely responsible for cracking the notoriously difficult Enigma code, which the Germans used for virtually all their military communication in World War II. Churchill believed that his was the single biggest contribution to Allied victory.  

But Turing, obsessed with ciphers all his life, was himself a puzzle and a bundle of contradictions.  He was famously eccentric and antisocial, more at home with numbers than with people. He was also forthrightly gay at a time when homosexual activity was illegal in Britain, and in 1952, he was convicted on charges of indecency.  Instead of prison, he chose to be chemically castrated, and two years later, at the age of 41, miserable over the changes the hormones had wreaked in him, he bit into an apple laced with cyanide.  His death was almost certainly a suicide, possibly even a re-enactment of a scene in his favorite movie, "Snow White" though his mother insisted that he was just sloppy with chemicals, and to this day there are conspiracy theorists who believe that he was assassinated by MI6, fearful that he was a security risk." As the producer of the movie said, definitely a story that needed to be told. Read the full article in The New York Times. E.T.P. 7'

Image via LRB.

Ben Jackson via the London Review of Books tells the story of what happened the night Proust met Joyce? "In one of his recently published letters to his wife, Véra, Nabokov gives yet another version of the legendary encounter between Joyce and Proust in 1922. The various accounts of the meeting (many of them collected in Richard Ellmann’s Life of Joyce) disagree on almost everything, though it probably happened at a party given by the writer Sydney Schiff to celebrate the opening of Stravinsky’s Renard in Paris on 18 May. According to one version of the story, Joyce arrived drunk and poorly dressed; Proust, draped in furs, opened the door." Read full article in London Review of Books. E.T.P. 3'


Photo: the absolutely adorable Champ on his 12th birthday via his Instagram.

Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a beautiful weekend!

Here are some links you might like:

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Champ on Instagram


In Dog We Trust is edited by Carola Melguizo of La Guía del Perro


Screenshot from Episode 3: Jamie.

Screenshot from Episode 3: Jamie.

We have just discovered the mini web series called High Maintenance, created, written and directed by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. High Maintenance is the story of the brief encounters of a weed dealer with his clients in New York City. The short stories are funny, sweet, weird, moving, and the characters manage to get you engaged from the very first minute. I did a bit of research (meaning, I googled "High Maintenance Web Series") and I found that from the first season's 13 episodes (each between 5 and 15 minutes long which accounts to approximately 2 hours of procrastination) Katja and Ben got a funding deal with Vimeo to produce season two. Yay!

According to Vulture, the Vimeo deal was the company's first adventure into original programming "Vimeo had already established a service where filmmakers could set a viewing price and take 90 percent of the proceeds; Kerry Trainor, the company’s CEO, says it was just a natural step toward advancing some money to High Maintenance, a show he thinks “shows off everything we think Vimeo is in the world to do.” For Blichfeld and Sinclair, who glued together season one of High Maintenance with their own funds and through favors from friends, it represented an ideal way to keep a good thing going. Vimeo has been an extremely hands-off partner: “That’s the coolest thing about being here,” Sinclair says. “They haven’t even read a single script. They haven’t asked.” Vimeo sounds like the ideal executive producer, right? (Read full article in Vulture. E.T.P. 4)

The awaited second season is due to appear early November in Vimeo, this time it won't be free though, but they hope their fans will be willing to pay a small price to watch and keep a regular stream of income for them to be able to keep producing more episodes. In the meantime, go ahead and have a look at High Maintenance's first season, is meaningful procrastination for a lot of reasons; fresh and solid mini-stories from New York which are always nice to see, a great main character, and because it represents new ways of making stuff, "TV" entertainment being created in an organic way by new independent players. Estimated Time of Procrastination for the first season: 2 hours tops.


This week our friend, playground designer and contributor Marie procrastinated by researching (and photographing) leaves in and around Clapton Square. This little wander around might inform a future project. Maybe not. Maybe the goal was solely the active procrastination and the photographic register was unintended. Anyway, we though it was seasonal appropriate and that the results were very beautiful and we wanted to share that with you in the hope that someone might find that inspiring, or ridiculous, or wonderful... everything is valid if its somehow moving.

And of course if you want to share the results of your unstructured procrastination, seasonal or not. Please do so (: